Chance Me For PEA, Hotchkiss, etc

Ok first I just want to say I’m typing this on a phone and I have no clue how to use this website so sorry if I’m doing this wrong.

About Me:
Currently in 9th grade living in Indiana. I’m a black female if that matters. I’m interested in applying to PEA, Hotchkiss, Cranbrooks, Lake Forest, and others if you have recommendations. Also I know deadlines have passed but I figured that even if I do get rejected I would have an idea of what the essays and interviews are like for next year.

All’s A’s and B’s throughout middle school. I had one C+ last year but that was because my teacher kept putting in grades even after schools were shut down. I attended an ‘advanced’ school from 5th to 7th grade and a regular public school in 7th and 8th. The school was advanced for my area but it wasn’t that good on a statewide or nationwide scale. I have a 4.2 uwg currently.

My school doesn’t offer AP for 9th graders but I am in the only dual credit class offered for ninth graders currently. I’m also in all honors classes offered for 9th graders (which is only English and math)

Science Olympiad for 2 years (top 10 in several topics, made it to state in 7th grade)

Jazz band for one year (Lead tenor sax)

Marching band for 2 years (first clarinet for both years)

Concert band for 5 years (first chair clarinet for the past 4 years)

I’m also learning electric bass currently and took a piano class

Took Spanish for 2 years and I’m currently taking German

I have completed one Coursera course and am planning on doing 2+ more before applying

In the process of setting up a school club that does volunteer work and fundraisers for children with cancer

Volunteered at a couple of school events and going to start volunteering at a local hospital (outside of the club)

I was also art student of the year last year but I’m not sure how much that really matters

I don’t plan on taking the SSAT or ISEE because of time constraints and if I fail that’s just wasting money. As for standardized testing I’ve tested in the 99th percentile in the NWEA and my states standardized test.

Essays and interviews:
I’ve talked to a couple of students so I’m pretty confident about my interview. I also think i could create a good sob story for an essay. I also feel that my recommendations will go well.

Sob stories don’t read well unless it’s something very rare that’s only happened to you and it’s made drastic change in ur personality and life but i’m not an expert so take my advice with a grain of rice ( idk the saying lol)


That was mostly a joke. I just meant my story was going to be personal and hopefully moving. But thanks!

Perfect state test scores and 99%:NWEA doesn’t correlate to SSAT and will not be asked for or accepted as relevant. You should assume that everybody has similar scores on those tests. The SSAT puts all of those kids in a bucket and compares them. I’d really recommend that you study for and take the SSAT. In my observation applicants on this board who submitted scores had better results.


Yes I would recommend studying and submitting test scores.

I would recommend taking the SSAT as well, if you can.
You can find a lot of free study resources and practice questions online. I also think they offer fee waivers (I could be wrong about that).
I wouldn’t assume that a 99% NWEA correlates to that high of an SSAT score for the reasons stated above. I myself have NWEAs in that range and my first few practice SSAT tests were far lower percentile-wise. The NWEA isn’t something you prepare for, and it’s a measurement against all other students who were mandated to take it. I’m sure we all know classmates who clicked through the NWEA questions without even reading them just to be finished first. You’ll find that the testing pool for the SSAT is far more self-selecting, and therefore produces very different percentiles. I say this not to negate that a high NWEA score is an achievement, but I just wouldn’t assume it’s a substitute for the SSAT. Also, if you study diligently and take practice tests, there is a much lower chance that you will ‘fail’.

Edit: sorry lilyesh, didn’t mean to reply to you


no worries. and yes, i agree. i scored a 97th% math state test score (in new york) and ended up getting an 88 for grade+gender and 85 for grade. You’re ‘competing’ against a selective group of kids that mostly work hard. Study now. trust me on this, you’re going to want to study. a lot. and be prepared to take the test more than once. @bassyyy

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That’s pretty similar to me. My math NWEA has been consistently 98-99% on the NWEA, but it was 85 for SSAT even after studying.

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yea. my english NYS test scores were i think 84%ile state? and i got 73/75 on ssat.

I would recommend you apply for the 2022-2023 school year as a repeat 10th grader. Late admission to these schools is very unlikely. From what I’ve heard, it just doesn’t happen…11th grade admission is also extremely hard, which is why I recommend a repeat year next year. But I’m just a kid on the internet…maybe a parent could chime in?

I completely agree with this. From everything I’ve heard that sounds like solid advice. Is OP looking to apply late this application cycle? I thought this was for next year, but maybe I read that wrong. @bassyyy if you’re looking to apply this year then go for it, but I will caution you that schools already have very long waitlists that they will likely look to first if they still have any spots left after A10.

Okay, just re-read initial post more closely. It does say for this admission cycle. If you’re doing it to get some application experience before re-applying next year, then definitely go for it! You have nothing to lose and you may end up on an AOs radar for when applying next year. I still second what @lilyesh said though. The numbers are not in your favor, for you or any other late applicants.

I haven’t looked into it much, but I think Cranbrook is doing some rolling admissions, so that may be your best bet.

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I’ll look into the SSAT. Do you think 1 month is enough preparation time because I wanted to apply at least by may. I’m also pretty sure all the schools I listed are doing rolling admissions except PEA, their email wasn’t very clear when I asked. But thank you!

Personally, I only took a month to prepare, so I think that if you work smartly it is enough. If you had more time, I would not recommend cramming all of your study into a month, but seeing as you don’t it should be fine. I will add the caveat that my month of preparation also included a two week winter break, during which time I studied a ton and didn’t have any school commitments to worry about. I spent time everyday studying during break, which thankfully worked out well for me on the test, but was a very not fun thing to do, and left me a bit burned out starting second semester without ever really having a break.

I recommend taking a practice test now. See what your result is, and assume that with a month to prepare you can probably improve it by around 10-15 (if you’re very diligent) percentiles. If you have further to climb then that to get your desired score, then you might want to focus your efforts elsewhere.

If you’re applying right now, Hotchkiss will also be very hard to get into. They’ll probably give you a waitlist at best.

2 months of light preparation for me raised my total percentile by 25 points. Btw, schools you mentioned might accept applications, but that doesn’t mean it’s likely for them to be admitted.


I think you do have somewhat of a chance! Seeing your fantastic test scores and interest in math Olympiad—especially having a top placement sets you apart. You have also many other unique and various ecs, which makes me wonder, what is your passion point? Schools like to see when someone has that spike factor. If you have one and you emphasize your passion for it, you have a great chance. I heard PEA is a stem school, so by being good at math helps you here. Definitely look into taking the ssat to make up for your grades. You have a mediocre reason for them, but to make up for the Bs and C you need to prove you can score high when everything is ok. Even so, there are hundreds of other students like you, and you may be waitlisted. Hotchkiss lately has been over enrolling, so Hotchkiss will be harder to get into.

I’m planning on going into engineering. My school doesn’t offer any engineering clubs but i am in an engineering class. I’ll be taking the SSAT because so many people suggest it.

Parent here. There is no chance for admission this year at highly selective prep schools,
full stop. Hotchkiss does not have rolling admissions.

Now, while you are late for this year, you are early for next, so doing research on the schools, doing test prep etc are a great use of your time. Applying to schools that probably won’t even accept your application is a waste of time. And if you are able to submit, a weak application (because you are rushed) can hurt you next year.

Spend some time reading the prep school forums. You will see it is important to cast a wide net no matter how impressive the student is. Figure out some slightly less well known schools with higher acceptance rates to include.

Have you figured out the money piece already? If you need financial aid, know that every school but Andover (and maybe Exeter?) is need aware. You absolutely CAN get financial aid, but that adds a dimension to the school search. If you are full pay, never mind.

I am sorry that it is unlikely for next year, but as I said, the upside is that you are in a position to be super prepared to apply in the fall with a great application.


i second @cinnamon1212